Preparing for labour, birth and parenthood


Things to think about

  • Who do you want to support you at the birth?

This person will be your birth partner.

  • What will help you relax when you are in labour?

Make sure your birth partner knows about your birth plan.

  • If you want pain relief what kind is right for you?

Things to do Pack a bag for the birth and a bag for you and your baby afterwards.

Don’t forget: An old nightdress or t–shirt, (something that opens at the front will make breastfeeding easier later on), clothes for your baby, your wash bag, clothes for you and plenty of sanitary towels and old or disposable knickers.

Planning for the birth

Your midwives will do their best to make sure that the birth of your new baby will be a positive experience

You and your partner or birth partner can help things go smoothly by finding out what to expect and by taking some time to think about what’s important to you.

How to help your birth stay normal

It’s best for mums to try and have a normal birth and not a caesarean. This is because mums recover much more quickly from a normal birth and the birth of the next baby will be easier if you decide to have another.

There are some things you can’t control, but there are things you can do to increase your chances of having a normal birth:

  • Stay active during your pregnancy
  • Keep moving about as long as possible in labour
  • Stay at home during the early part of labour – you will be calmer and happier.

Your body, your choices

During your pregnancy, your midwife will ask if you would like to make a birth plan. This means that your choices are written down. It’s a good idea because it gives you a chance to think about what you’d like and ask questions before you go into labour. Talk about your plan with your partner or birth partner.

  • If you are not sure what you want:
  • Ask your midwife and she will talk you through your options
  • Have a look at the information in this book
  • Antenatal class

During the Covid-19 pandemic the Welsh Government have provided free access to online classes using the Solihull Approach. Please click here for further information. These courses are available for parents, grandparents, and carers. Click here to register for the online course using this voucher code SWSOL

Ask your community midwife or Health Visitor for local resources that are available to you.

Once you have finished your birth plan it will be added to your maternity notes and will guide the midwife caring for you later on. But don’t worry, you can still change your mind.

Who will be with you at the birth?

Think about who you would like to be your birth partner to give you support and encouragement when you’re in labour. Your partner, if you have one, may be the obvious choice, but it doesn’t have to be. There is some evidence that having another person with you instead of (or as well as) your partner is helpful and can shorten your labour. Some women have a close friend or a relative with them.

It’s a good idea to discuss your birth plan with your partner and whoever else will be with you at the birth. If they know what you expect and what your decisions are they’ll be able to give you better support.

Improving the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of expectant mothers, infants, children and young people throughout Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Area.

(N.B: The Family and Therapies team at ABUHB is NOT responsible for the content on the webpage links that we refer to in our resource sections and linked information to external sites. All information was accurate and appropriate at the time the webpage was created.)

Accessibility tools